Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is an American mixed martial artist and current flyweight champion in the UFC. After winning the flyweight championship in the first-ever UFC Flyweight Tournament in September of 2012, Johnson successfully defended the title 11 straight times, the most in UFC history. Due to his success as a flyweight and consistent excellence in the octagon, Johnson has made a name for himself as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all-time. Johnson was the second UFC fighter to be paid contract bonuses for Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night, Submission of the Night and Performance of the Night.
Demetrious Johnson Net Worth as of 2018: $6 Million
Early Life (1986-2009):
Johnson was born in Madisonville, Kentucky but grew up in Parkland, Washington, outside of Tacoma. Johnson attended Washington High School in Tacoma where he participated in wrestling and track. Despite the fact that Johnson only participated in track to improve his cardio for wrestling, he participated in state championships in both sports.
In 2007, Johnson began his career as a professional mixed martial artist. Johnson won his debut via first-round knockout before winning his next eight fights in local shows. Johnson’s success at the local level quickly earned him a contract with World Extreme Cagefighting.
2010-2012:WEC & UFC Bantamweight Division
Johnson made his debut in World Extreme Cagefighting against Brad Pickett in April of 2010. Despite a good striking performance, Johnson lost by decision due to his inability to defend against Pickett’s takedowns. At the time, bantamweight was the smallest weight class in the WEC but Johnson was still undersized compared to much of his competition. For example, Pickett was three inches taller than Johnson and was naturally heavier because of it. The loss to Pickett was Johnson’s first ever loss in the MMA.
Johnson’s next fight was supposed to be against Clint Godfrey in September of 2010. However, once Godfrey was dropped from the card, Nick Pace was slated as his replacement. Johnson defeated Pace via decision despite the fact that he was four inches shorter and Pace was undefeated at the time. Johnson also won his next fight against Damacio Page via a guillotine choke in the third round.
In October of 2010, the UFC bought out WEC. Johnson won his UFC debut against Norifumi Yamamoto via decision. Johnson also won his next fight, a May 2011 bout against Miguel Torres, despite the fact that he broke his fibula early in the fight. Johnson used his superior wrestling skills to out-point Torres even though he had little ability to put any weight on his leg. In October of 2011, a year after joining the UFC, Johnson was awarded a shot at the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Johnson faced off Dominic Cruz but lost via decision. Johnson was briefly linked to another fight within the bantamweight division until the UFC announced the creation of a flyweight division. Johnson invited by the UFC to participate in a four-man tournament to determine the first flyweight champion.
2012-Present:UFC Flyweight & Championship
Thank you to my coaches and teammates for helping me achieve this accomplishment in my career. It has been a long journey and there is still much more to achieve. Also couldn’t have done this without an amazing support system at home. Thank you to my beautiful @mightywife for always holding it down at home. You are the most important piece my love. #andstill #recordbreaker #behumble
Johnson opened the semi-finals of the flyweight tournament against Ian McCall in March of 2012. The two put on a spectacular fight that ended in a draw and earned them the Fight of the Night award. As a draw did not do anything to progress the tournament, a rematch was scheduled for just three months later. In June of 2012, Johnson defeated McCall via decision. In September of 2012, Johnson faced Joseph Benavidez in the tournament finals with the first flyweight championship on the line. Johnson won via split decision and was crowned flyweight champion.
Johnson has been on a tear in the UFC ever since, successfully defending his title 11 straight times. In 2016, the UFC produced a season of The Ultimate Fighter (a reality show in which fighters compete to earn a spot on the UFC roster) designed to find new competition for Johnson to face, as many felt the flyweight division was not deep enough and Johnson had already defeated anyone who could be considered a legitimate contender. The UFC invited 16 fighters from smaller companies that all currently held championships for their promotions, naming the season The Tournament of Champions. In the end, Tim Elliot of Titan Fighting Championships won the tournament and was awarded with a shot against Johnson. Johnson won via decision but many considered it to be one of Johnson’s biggest challenges since winning the title. Johnson has won all of his fights since the draw against Ian McCall in 2012.